Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The Top Eleven Posts of 2019

I wrote a few more posts in 2019 than I did the year before, but traffic was down overall.   I hope to be more productive in the year to come; at least not to go whole months without posting at all.

Here are the posts that got the most attention:

11.    The Soul of a Man Trapped in the Body of a Man (240) I'd liked the therapist Walt Odets's older writings on HIV and its effects on gay men, so I was very interested when he published a new book, for the first time in years.  Out of the Shadows turned out to be not just a disappointment but the very kind of Culture-of-Therapy junk I dislike most; I decided not to finish it.  This and one other post explain why.
10.  A Thousand Milliseconds of Peace (241)  I used to feel uneasy about dismissing the importance of political firsts -- the first black president, the first woman president -- because I couldn't be sure whether I'd feel the same way about a viable candidate for the first gay President.  Thanks to Pete Buttigieg, I now know that I do.  It would be nice to have a gay President, but what is important is having a good President, and Buttigieg doesn't fill the bill.

9.  I Am the Only Atheist in the Village!  (248)  On the subtle racism that underlies some Village-Atheist discourse, along with the usual historical ignorance. 
8.  Say It Ain't So, Joe!  (253)  Joe Biden isn't a good candidate either, for many reasons, and his disregard for other people's spatial boundaries is one of them.  But some of the reactions to his grabbiness are excessive, to put it nicely.
7.   In Whose Service Is Perfect Freedom (263)  My review of a book by a North Korean author, perhaps the first North Korean fiction to appear in English translation.

6.    Let the End Times Roll  (263)  My review of the Amazon Prime adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's End-times fantasy Good Omens

5.  It Became Necessary to Destroy the Business to Save It  (268)  Another venerable business, Steak and Shake, is being destroyed by the venture capitalist who bought it in order to gut it.

4.  Who Wants to Be the Last to Go Bankrupt Before Medicare for All Kicks In?  (292)  My first post on Pete Buttigieg.  He has turned out to be even worse than I thought, but he was never very impressive.  Glenn Greenwald has dropped his original approval of the boy, but other older gay men have not, and I think that lust plays a role in their opinion of him.  While lust is good, it's not a reason to vote for anyone.

3.  Nostalgia is Just Amnesia Turned Around  (354)  I think it was Adrienne Rich whose epigram I stole for the title of this post.  The ongoing cult of Barack Obama is an excellent example of its truth.  His fake-compassionate dismissal of young Central American refugees, which gave Trump a precedent, is the sort of thing his devotees not only prefer to forget, they ignored it when it was happening.

2.  The Man of Destiny (459)  It might be going too far to call Pete Buttigieg's juxtaposition of Donald Trump's base and Bernie Sanders's base a false equivalence, but I don't think so.  It was still a repulsively sloppy, demagogic speech, and cemented Buttigieg's status as an aspiring centrist spoiler. 

1.  Fierce Latina Holds Her Fire (462)  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the most promising young politicians at the national level today, even though I think she's made some bad moves.  What this says to me is that those who like, support, and care about her should criticize her, firmly but fairly.